World Economic Forum Selects Smart Wires as a Technology Pioneer

World Economic Forum Selects Smart Wires as a Technology Pioneer

June 16, 2020

The World Economic Forum has included Smart Wires in the small group of companies it identified as Technology Pioneers in 2020. This recognizes that Smart Wires is one of the world’s top technology companies and is poised to have a significant impact on business and society. Smart Wires develops and implements technologies that accelerates a low-cost path to global decarbonization by dramatically increasing the delivery of electricity through existing power grids.

“We’re excited to welcome Smart Wires to our 20th cohort of Technology Pioneers,” says Susan Nesbitt, Head of the Global Innovators Community, World Economic Forum. “Smart Wires and its fellow pioneers are developing cutting edge technologies all over the world. Beyond their innovations, these firms are contributing greatly to improving the state of the world.”

“We are proud and humbled to be recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum,” said Smart Wires CEO, Gregg Rotenberg. “This is probably the world’s top honor for a company that has graduated from the early growth stages and is now making a major global impact. The Forum’s track-record in quickly identifying companies that will change their industries is breath-taking and we are so proud to join companies like Google, Twitter and Spotify as Technology Pioneers.”   

“I believe that within ten years, all major power grids will be operated by modern power flow technology. We will move from a grid managed mostly with steel and copper solutions, to a grid managed mostly by semi-conductors and software. This “digital grid” will enable much more rapid decarbonization with lower costs and less disruption to communities and the environment. We are committed to collaborating with utilities to quickly and affordably achieve the energy transition,” he added.

Following its selection as a 2020 Technology Pioneer, Smart Wires will be invited to contribute to Forum activities, events and discussions over the next two years, working with policymakers and private sector leaders to help define the global agenda on key issues.

“This is probably the world’s top honor for a company that has graduated from the early growth stages and is now making a major global impact"

Gregg Rotenberg

Chief Executive Officer

More Information

The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers are shaping a wide range of industries. These leading companies are involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies and innovations, and are poised to have a significant impact on business and society.

Technology Pioneers are selected based on their innovation, impact, leadership and relevance with the World Economic Forum’s Platforms.

2020 Tech Pioneer firms are advancing technologies such as AI, IoT, robotics, blockchain, biotechnology and many more. The full list of this year’s Technology Pioneers can be found here.

More information on past winners and information on the community is available here.

About World Economic Forum: The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

About the Global Innovators: The Global Innovators Community is a group of the world’s most promising start-ups and scale-ups that are at the forefront of technological and business model innovation. The World Economic Forum provides the Global Innovators Community with a platform to engage with public- and private-sector leaders and to contribute new solutions to overcome current crises and build future resiliency.

Companies who are invited to become Global Innovators will engage with one or more of the Forum’s Platforms, as relevant, to help define the global agenda on key issues.

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CEO STATEMENT: Supporting our staff, customers and communities through COVID-19

CEO Statement: Supporting our staff, customers and communities through COVID-19

May 18, 2020

First and foremost, Smart Wires extends a sincere “thank you” to all frontline healthcare workers who risk their own wellbeing every day. We are forever grateful for your relentless efforts to save lives.

We realize heroes also work outside the walls of hospitals. To those who work in food and goods, public transport, safety and security, education, and other key public services, thank you for ensuring our lives can continue as safely and easily as possible in these unchartered times. You each make selfless and critical contributions, so millions of people can stay safe at home. We salute you all.

I would also like to personally acknowledge our industry partners and customers, who day in and day out ensure the world has a constant and reliable supply of electricity. The criticality of this service is paramount as the world grapples with COVID-19. While the importance of powering hospitals and emergency equipment goes without saying, delivering this same reliability of supply to households is now just as crucial. This enables us to work, school and socialize from home, keeping our communities safe and healthy.

At Smart Wires, adapting to change and creating innovative solutions to solve critical challenges is part of our DNA. Our response to COVID-19 is no different.

Underpinned by our Guiding Principle ‘Safety’, Smart Wires’ response is fundamentally focused on the wellbeing of our employees and their families, and on our customers and their communities throughout the world.

While keeping everyone safe, we are proud to say our business continuity, production and commitment to improving global electric grids remain unchanged.

Ongoing support

The uninterrupted supply of electricity is essential to all of us during this crisis. We are inspired by our utility customers and are proud to support these vital organizations during these uncertain times.

In tandem, we are working with each of our customers to find innovative solutions to the new challenges COVID-19 is presenting to their business.

We continue to monitor the evolving situation and comply strictly with health orders and guidance issued by national health authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO). We’re also in touch with our utility customers to ensure we comply with their individual onsite safety procedures, ready for the time when travel can recommence.

Business as usual

Despite different working conditions, we continue to fulfil our operational commitments to our customers. In fact, the lead time for production and deployment of our technology remains largely unaffected.

In the midst of the pandemic we have continued to safely and responsibly deploy our products around the world.

We have strict procedures in place to ensure essential workers can continue to safely work onsite at our facilities in California and Florida. These procedures comply with official health orders and guidance and ensure we maintain critical operational and business functions. The remainder of our global employees work as normal, from the safety of their homes.

We look forward to the brighter days ahead and reconnecting in person with our much loved staff, customers and industry colleagues.

Wishing you all good health,

Gregg Rotenberg

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Renowned European Energy Industry Leader Joins Smart Wires

Renowned European Energy Industry Leader Joins Smart Wires

March 17, 2020

Dr. Susanne Nies joins as General Manager, Germany, to assist company’s further expansion into European market.

Global power technology company, Smart Wires, today announced the hiring of renowned European energy industry leader, Dr. Susanne Nies.

Dr. Nies joins Smart Wires as General Manager, Germany, and will be based in Berlin.

As one of Europe’s leading energy figures, Dr. Nies brings with her vast experience which will assist the company as it expands further into the European market.

“The European energy industry is at a real turning point,” said Smart Wires’ Managing Director of Europe, Michael Walsh.

“With the EU’s new Green Deal policy, and the significant green energy targets many European governments have announced, Europe is leading the world in this area. We’re on the cusp of seeing real change and a material shift in progress towards achieving the energy transition,” he said.

“As a major figure in the energy industry, Susanne’s arrival at Smart Wires significantly bolsters our presence in the European market, as we work to help utilities reduce constraints that limit the flow of clean power through the existing grid. This will help society accelerate decarbonization and achieve our clean energy targets,” he said.

On her decision to join Smart Wires, Dr. Nies said: “I have been watching Smart Wires with great interest for years now. The company’s technology is truly innovative, and represents game-changing solutions for the global energy industry,” she said.

Prior to joining Smart Wires, Dr. Nies led ENTSO-E’s (European Network of Transmission System Operators) Strategy, Research and Communication team, where her responsibilities included ensuring broad strategic alignment of European TSOs, leading the regulatory benchmarking of TSOs, developing the TSO-DSO interaction strategy, and managing stakeholder relationships.

She has also worked for EURELECTRIC (European power sector association) heading the DSOs department, Energy Policy department and Power Generation department; the French Think Tank IFRI, based in Paris; in French and German universities; and the German Heinrich Boell Foundation.

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The challenges and opportunities facing Ireland’s energy industry

The challenges and opportunities facing Ireland’s energy industry

January 27, 2020

A group of leading figures from Ireland’s energy industry came together to discuss the country’s energy transition issues and current business landscape.

Hosted by pioneering power technology company, Smart Wires, guests included representatives from Enterprise Ireland, ESB, IDA, Irish Wind Energy Association, SuperNode, SSE, SEAI and UCD.

The discussion took place against the backdrop of the EU-funded Horizon 2020 Flexitranstore project – guests had the opportunity to view and tour Smart Wires’ revolutionary mobile power flow control unit, as it travels from the USA on its way to deployment on the Greek Transmission System.

Commencing proceedings, Smart Wires’ European Managing Director, Michael Walsh, asked the group about the industry issues keeping them awake at night, challenges to overcome, and progress they see being made.

Grid capacity and access was unsurprisingly a key focus of discussion.

For Noel Cunniffe from the Irish Wind Energy Association, grid capacity, public acceptance, and government policy are the key issues facing the wind industry. IWEA see a divergence between public policy and bringing renewables on to the grid that needs to be addressed.

Noel Cunniffe, IWEA

“Many of our new wind farm connections have non-firm access, due to grid capacity limitations. Congestion is a big issue which may prevent new wind farm connections and is constraining the output of existing wind farms. “If we’re to meet the Government’s renewable electricity target of 70% by 2030, technology companies such as Smart Wires working in partnership with System Operators could be a win-win for everyone.”

Jane McArdle from SSE Airtricity manages similar challenges with regard to constraints.

Jane McArdle, SSE Airtricity

“We can be granted access for a wind farm, only to find that shortly after we connect we’re constrained for three months. This technology is an obvious solution to reduce constraints, particularly when connecting new generation.”

John Fitzgerald, CEO of SuperNode, sees similarities between the challenges facing the Irish industry with those facing the rest of Europe.  In this role he regularly meets with European stakeholders such as utilities, ENTSO-E, Eurelectric etc., and discusses the challenges of the future grid.  They all see the need for increased levels of flexibility at transmission and distribution, and with generation and supply.  John sees the pace of change as another industry challenge – technology is often evolving at a faster pace than policy, leading to suboptimal decision making.

John Fitzgerald, SuperNode

“The key challenge as we move toward the future grid is flexibility. It’s a big problem so there is huge scope for solutions – both technology and policy.”

Referring to his role in assessing and working with EU-funded projects at Enterprise Ireland, Philip Cheasty made the point that these funding initiatives provide a great opportunity for the industry at large.

Philip Cheasty, Enterprise Island

“Ireland is very strong in the area of energy related EU-funded projects. If it is something you already want to develop, this mechanism can be the ideal vehicle for moving a project on.”

Michael Walsh, Smart Wires

“Smart Wires’ positive experience with EU funded projects has certainly given our US management the appetite to locate even more high value work in Ireland and Europe.”

Rounding out the discussion, Charlie O’Donoghue from IDA Ireland made the point that solving issues of constraint and capacity impacts the wider business environment.

Charlie O’Donoghue, IDA Ireland

“Understanding the opportunities and possible solutions to alleviating congestion is important for all of us – for example, this will help the IDA when speaking with data centre owners looking to locate to Ireland.”

Smart Wires greatly appreciates the time these industry leaders gave, and the opportunity to discuss such important issues.

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Sterlite Power strikes technology agreement with U.S. based Smart Wires to bring SmartValve to Indian utilities

Sterlite Power strikes technology agreement with Smart Wires:

Bring SmartValve to Indian utilities

January 23, 2020

Sterlite Power strikes technology agreement with U.S. based Smart Wires to bring SmartValveTM  to Indian utilities

  • Sterlite Power to offer Indian utilities modular power flow control solutions that make transmission grid efficient & flexible
  • Exclusive arrangement between Sterlite Power and Smart Wires to market the technology in India

New Delhi, Jan  2020:

Sterlite Power has inked an exclusive agreement with U.S. based Smart Wires to introduce a revolutionary technology to the Indian electric markets that will enable resourceful grid management. This cutting-edge technology is an intelligent ‘valve’, that will allow utilities to optimally utilise existing transmission capacity and enhance grid flexibility.

Speaking on the Technology Agreement, Pratik Agarwal, Group CEO, Sterlite Power Transmission Ltd. said “ Lack of land to build new lines, integration of renewable energy, rising Grid outages due to climate change, will be some of the biggest problems that power sector will face in the future. The only way to transcend these challenges is through the use of disruptive technology that can help capture more value from existing grid.”  

Power networks in India have been facing major transmission congestion challenges due to urbanisation and exponential growth in demand for power. Congestion is often seen in sub-transmission lines, where it is a challenge to connect renewable power. In this context, alleviating congestion and enhancing grid flexibility becomes critical.

Manish Agarwal, CEO, Solutions, Sterlite Power, said, “We are passionate proponents of disruptive technologies that can help our customers meet their energy delivery needs and address the coinciding challenges of time, space and capital. This technology will enable better power flow, grid stability and enhanced power transfer capacity in existing infrastructure, without the need for investment in new lines.”

Smart Wires CEO, Gregg Rotenberg, said, “Given the pace and scale of renewable energy growth in India, our solutions can provide immense value to the market. We are thrilled to work with Sterlite because we knew we needed a collaborator who understood the nuances of this market and who could match our passion to transform how electric grids are planned and operated.”

Smart Wires a world leader in modular power flow control, has successfully deployed this state-of-the-art technology globally, across the U.S., Europe and Australia. SmartValve increases power transfer capability by making better use of an existing network. As generation and demand changes, circuits can become unequally loaded. Some lines reach their maximum capacity while others are well below their limits. SmartValve technology can unlock this system capacity by more evenly balancing power flows and therefore provides a quicker-to-install and lower-impact alternative to building new lines. Smart Wires technology is quick to install and easy to scale or redeploy, providing valuable flexibility given today’s rapidly changing electric system. Based in California, with offices in Ireland and Australia and a global workforce, Smart Wires works with utilities around the world to address the unique challenges they face.

About Sterlite Power

Sterlite Power is a leading global developer of power transmission infrastructure with projects of over 13,315 circuit kms and 23,885 MVA in India and Brazil. With an industry-leading portfolio of power conductors, EHV cables and OPGW, Sterlite Power also offers solutions for upgrading, uprating and strengthening existing networks. The Company has set new benchmarks in the industry by use of cutting-edge technologies and innovative financing. Sterlite Power is also the sponsor of IndiGrid, India’s first power sector Infrastructure Investment Trust (“InvIT”), listed on the BSE and NSE.

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LoadShare Project wins IET Innovation Awards

Loadshare project wins IET innovation awards

December 4, 2019

LoadShare, a joint project between Smart Wires and UK Power Networks, has won the Power and Energy category, and received Highly Commended in the Sustainability and Environmental Impact category, at the prestigious Institution of Energy and Technology (IET) Awards in London.

The IET Innovation Awards recognize and celebrate the very best new innovations across science, engineering and technology, from around the world.


LoadShare uses Smart Wires’ state-of-the-art technology to increase the utilization of UK Power Networks’ existing lines –resolving a pinch point near the Essex/Suffolk border, and allowing more electricity generated from renewable sources to feed into the system –without building costly and disruptive new electrical cabling and substations.

This project has freed up 95MW of additional network capacity –enough to power 45,000 homes with renewable energy–and has saved UK Power Networks’ customers £8 million compared with traditional means of network upgrades.

SmartWires’ European Managing Director, Michael Walsh said: “Smart Wires is incredibly proud to have received recognition with UK Power Networks for this impactful project.”

“UK Power Networks was incredibly impressive to work with, and by pursuing projects like this, the company shows its commitment to its customers, the energy transition, and a greener, better future,” said Mr. Walsh.

“Smart Wires’ power flow technology is a game-changer in the energy industry and is changing the way grid operators across the world think about integrating renewables.

Michael Walsh

Managing Director - Europe

Speaking about the importance of the LoadShare project to UK Power Networks and its future vision, the company’s Director of Asset Management, Barry Hatton said: “UK Power Networks’ vision for the future grid is to be a facilitator. We want to make sure that anyone who wants to connect low carbon technologies can do so.”

“UK Power Networks will achieve its vision through good people, good processes, good technology, and working with innovators to ensure any opportunity out there to make this happen is realized,” he said.

Mr. Walsh added: “Smart Wires’ power flow technology is a game-changer in the energy industry and is changing the way grid operators across the world think about integrating renewables. By enabling utilities to control where power flows on their networks, they can now integrate new generation more efficiently and at a lower cost and impact to consumers.The work UK Power Networks has done with LoadShare is a perfect example of the impact this technology can have.”

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National Grid Electricity Transmission signs strategic deal with Smart Wires for power flow control technology to enable greater volumes of renewable power

National Grid Electricity Transmission signs strategic deal with Smart Wires:

Power flow control technology to enable greater volumes of renewable power

November 26, 2019

National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) has awarded a five-year framework agreement to power flow control technology company, Smart Wires. This will help decarbonize the UK electricity grid by enabling greater volumes of renewable power to be efficiently transferred to customers. NGET will use modular power flow control technology to increase power transfer capability by making better use of its existing network.

As the generation and demand connected to the network changes, network power flows change and circuits can become unequally loaded. Some circuits reach their maximum capacity while others are well below their limits. Installing power flow controllers allows NGET to provide the Electricity System Operator with the tools to quickly reduce the congestion that limits renewable generation, with minimal impact on communities and the environment.

NGET will proceed with five installations in 2020. These projects are anticipated to increase boundary capabilities by 1.5 gigawatts in total across three boundaries.

Smart Wires power flow control devices allow utilities to increase the efficiency and resilience of today’s infrastructure. The technology’s modular nature means it’s quick to install and easy to move, thereby providing valuable flexibility. NGET can adjust the roll-out of the technology in response to network needs as they develop.

On visiting Smart Wires Global Research and Development Center in Silicon Valley, California, David Wright, Director of Electricity Transmission and Chief Electricity Engineer at National Grid, said, “NGET is pleased to sign this agreement with Smart Wires. This is an example of our commitment to deliver clean and affordable energy for our customers.

We have already completed several innovation projects with Smart Wires and have been impressed with their technology and professionalism.

I can see a world very soon where power grids everywhere become more intelligent, digital and controllable. NGET will be a leader in this transition and it’s inevitable that technology like Smart Wires will be a big part of this future.”

In response, Gregg Rotenberg, CEO of Smart Wires said, “NGET is demonstrating true global leadership and a genuine commitment to fighting climate change.

By making full use of their existing infrastructure, NGET is embracing the transformational changes that are required to achieve wide-scale decarbonization.”

Detailed Notes

A total of five projects will be installed in 2020. These projects will contain a total of 375 MVAr of power flow control capability. These projects are anticipated to increase boundary capabilities by 1.5 gigawatts in total across three boundaries. NGET see numerous other opportunities across their network to leverage this type of technology over the course of the framework agreement timeframe.

Smart Wires technology can unlock more system capacity at a lower cost than legacy solutions. Additionally, once installed, legacy solutions cannot be moved or modified quick enough to match the pace of change affecting today’s network. They therefore sometimes can be overrated, compared to the initial requirement, or replaced if the network changes further.

Smart Wires’ modular design makes it quick to deliver and easy to scale or move. The ability to finalize projects 12 months prior to delivery provides unprecedented flexibility and means investments can be scaled up or down in response to changing system needs. This technology provides several additional advantages compared with legacy solutions including reduced substation footprint and digital control.

About National Grid

National Grid own and operate the electricity transmission network in England and Wales, with day-to-day responsibility for balancing supply and demand. National Grid also operate, but do not own, the Scottish networks. The network comprises approximately 7,200 kilometers (4,474 miles) of overhead line, 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) of underground cable and 342 substations.

National Grid own and operate the gas National Transmission System in Great Britain, with day-to-day responsibility for balancing supply and demand. The network comprises approximately 7,660 kilometers (4,760 miles) of high-pressure pipe and 618 above-ground installations.

As Great Britain’s System Operator (SO) National Grid make sure gas and electricity is transported safely and efficiently from where it is produced to where it is consumed.  From April 2019, Electricity System Operator (ESO) is a new standalone business within National Grid, legally separate from all other parts of the National Grid Group. This will provide the right environment to deliver a balanced and impartial ESO that can realize real benefits for consumers as we transition to a more decentralized, decarbonized electricity system.

About Smart Wires

Smart Wires is the world’s leader in modular power flow control. Smart Wires technology enables utilities to unlock the large amounts of spare capacity that exists on their systems today. This means they can reduce congestion to save customers money and more quickly connect new renewables and demand. Increasing the use of the existing grid is more cost-effective and less disruptive to communities and the environment than traditional solutions. Smart Wires technology is quick to install and easy to scale or redeploy, providing valuable flexibility given today’s rapidly changing electric system.

Based in California, with offices in Ireland and Australia, Smart Wires partners with utilities around the globe to address the unique challenges they face.

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Technology powers 45,000 Homes with Renewable Energy

Technology powers 45,000 Homes with Renewable Energy

September 30, 2019

An innovative device which has freed up 95MW of additional network capacity – enough to power 45,000 homes – has been successfully proven in the UK. The solution was developed by California-based power technology company, Smart Wires.

In just a year, UK Power Networks’ LoadShare trial has already saved customers £8 million, and enabled enough renewable power to run 45,000 homes to safely connect to a previously constrained point in the local electricity network.

LoadShare solved a critical pinch point on a power line near the Essex/Suffolk border, by allowing more electricity generated from renewable sources to feed into the system – without building costly and disruptive new electrical cabling and substations. The Smart Wires’ devices were installed on three steel overhead lines near Lawford running between large electrical substations.

This state-of-the-art technology intelligently and instantly routes power through the cables which have available capacity, maximising use of the existing network.

At its heart, this is a story of optimization. It continues to forge the path towards renewable energy, while saving money for our customers. It’s the key to unlocking extra capacity in a safe, cost-effective, and fast way.

Ian Cameron

Head of Innovation - UKPN

LoadShare solved a critical pinch point on a power line near the Essex/Suffolk border, by allowing more electricity generated from renewable sources to feed into the system – without building costly and disruptive new electrical cabling and substations. The Smart Wires’ devices were installed on three steel overhead lines near Lawford running between large electrical substations.

This state-of-the-art technology intelligently and instantly routes power through the cables which have available capacity, maximising use of the existing network.

Head of innovation at UK Power Networks Ian Cameron said: “LoadShare is truly innovative for the UK energy industry, as we are the first network operator to deploy Smart Wires technology in the UK.

“At its heart, this is a story of optimization. It continues to forge the path towards renewable energy, while saving money for our customers. It’s the key to unlocking extra capacity in a safe, cost-effective, and fast way.

“This successful trial demonstrates our business ethos of innovation and disruption; implementing smart technologies to reach the UK’s target to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% by 2020 and Net Zero by 2050.”

With the £5.5m technology investment between Bramford and Lawford a success, UK Power Networks plans to deploy the technology in other areas to accommodate even more renewable energy generation at a reduced cost to consumers.

Smart Wires’ European managing director, Michael Walsh said: “UK Power Networks was incredibly impressive to work with, and by pursuing projects like this, the company shows its commitment to its customers, energy transition, and a greener, better future.

“Smart Wires’ power flow technology is a game-changer in the energy industry and is changing the way grid operators across the world think about integrating renewable generation. By enabling utilities to control where power flows on their networks, they can now integrate renewables more efficiently and at a lower cost and impact to consumers. The work UK Power Networks has done with LoadShare is a perfect example of the impact this technology can have.”

About UK Power Networks

UK Power Networks is the UK’s biggest electricity distributor, making sure the lights stay on for more than eight million homes and businesses across London, the South East and the East of England.

Network operators aren’t the same as energy suppliers; network operators manage local power lines and substations, while energy suppliers sell the electricity that runs through the power lines.

UK Power Networks continues to be listed in the Sunday Times’ Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For, and made industry history by becoming first company to win Utility of the Year two years running (2015 and 2016, also 2012). UK Power Networks won the 2019 EEI International Edison Award for helping to enable Britain’s low carbon transition.

The company invests more than £600 million in its electricity networks every year, offers extra help to vulnerable customers at times of need, and is undertaking trials to ensure that electricity networks support the transition to a low carbon future. It also moves cables and connects new electricity supplies.

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